Complications from unsafe abortion

A young woman who has an abortion may face several negative consequences, including haemorrhage, infection, injury to her reproductive organs, intestinal perforation (if metallic or sharp materials are used), and toxic reactions to substances or drugs used to induce abortion. These complications may result in infertility or even death.

Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity.

Whether there are medical complications or not, adolescent and young women may face negative psychological and social consequences after abortion. They may feel remorse, regret or guilt, or they may encounter negative reactions from peers, family, health care providers and society.

As a health professional, you need to inform and counsel any pregnant adolescent about the possible consequences (medical and psychological) of unsafe abortion. If a young woman with any of the above medical complications visits your health facility, you need to immediately refer her to a higher health facility (often a hospital) where she can get sufficient care.

Last modified: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 12:21 PM